Xiaomi’s CEO and founder, Lei Jun, confirmed the name of its new smartphone – the Xiaomi 12, during Tech Summit 2021, where it also revealed the phone will be the first to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. Our money is on it certainly being the best Xiaomi phone to date.
In his presentation, Jun also said the camera phone "will be available soon" but didn’t confirm a specific date. A recent leak suggested a launch date of 16 December in China, which now seems likely. As Xiaomi tends to launch its flagship phones in China first and then bring them to other markets later, we expect the pattern to be the same with the Xiaomi 12, although this is still to be confirmed.
Xiaomi is the first phone manufacturer to confirmed it'll be using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which was widely expected to be called the Snapdragon 898, in its next flagship phone. Motorola is next in line, having also confirmed its upcoming flagship smartphone will also be powered by the chipset and we expect more manufactures to make the same announcement imminently.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
The newly announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which will feature first in the Xiaomi 12 is a powerful top-end chip so is likely to be only seen in flagship phones. The CPU (central processing unit) of the chip has been improved and is 20% faster than the last generation and it also offers 30% power savings. Given the Snapdragon 888 Plus was one of the most powerful chips on the market this is great news and will result in even slicker smartphone experience.
Qualcomm is partnering with Google Cloud to introduce its Cloud Vertex AI Neural Architecture Search features into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform, so we know artificial intelligence features will be second to none.
New camera features
The majority of improvements for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1are in the camera, giving manufacturers a host of features they can introduce. First off, the now 18-bit image signal processor (ISP) introduces 4,096 times more camera data than previous models.
There’s now scope to offer faster shooting in burst mode – Qualcomm has doubled the number of photos you can take in quick succession. One second can now see you take 240 12MP photos, using the burst mode features.
New de-warp technology and Chromatic Aberration Correction features have been introduced on the new chip and as they're designed to improve wide-angle photography, we will expect to see more of this in new flagship phones.
For the first time, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset will allow users to shoot in 8K HDR – both HDR 10 and HDR 10 Plus. There’s also a new feature – Video Super-Resolution for Extreme Zoom – which will enable camera phones’ telephoto cameras to shoot video at long distances.